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A cardboard boat with a pile of pierogi, some chopped Polish sausage, sour cream and chives, and sauerkraut
Some of the city’s best pierogi is served by the Bare Naked Pole, currently in residence at Mission Control Arcade Bar in Rogers Park.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Where to Eat Pierogi in Chicago

It’s the ultimate Polish comfort food

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Some of the city’s best pierogi is served by the Bare Naked Pole, currently in residence at Mission Control Arcade Bar in Rogers Park.
| Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Contrary to popular myth, the city of Chicago does not have the largest population of Poles outside of Warsaw. That honor goes to New York City, or maybe London. However, Chicago has a higher percentage of people with Polish ancestry, and that’s reflected in its street names, in the nicknames of its sports teams (remember when former Bears coach Mike Ditka called an ideal player a “Grabowski?”), in its official forms where Polish appears alongside Spanish and Mandarin, and in its restaurants. Pierogi may be the ultimate in Polish comfort food, and here it’s available not just in old-school Polish diners and delis and modern Polish restaurants but also in bars that serve it alongside tacos and pizza and other food that Americans have adopted as the ideal accompaniment for beer. Here’s where to find some of the city’s finest pierogi. Eat it on the spot, or take a frozen bag home.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Qulinarnia

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1730 W Golf Rd
Mt Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 981-0480
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At Qulinarnia in northwest suburban Mount Prospect, chef Agnieszka Janowska uses modern cooking techniques to update Polish classics. And so there are traditional cheese and potato pierogi here, but also lobster and spinach, served with a side of cherry tomatoes. Keep an eye on the menu for seasonal and holiday specials, like sauerkraut and porcini for Christmas and sweet blueberry in the summer. Frozen pierogi are also available for takeout.

2. Polish Paczki Cafe

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7210 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60656
(708) 667-0451
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Hidden inside a strip mall — where the former Oven Fresh Bakery stood for decades — the ownership of Old Warsaw (a venerable Polish buffet restaurant) have downsized. This quaint cafe makes its own pierogi filled with sauerkraut, potato/cheese, meat, and mushroom.

3. Red Apple

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6474 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60631
(773) 588-5781
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Red Apple was known for its buffet, which is still open on weekends, but, like everyone else, it has made adjustments for the pandemic era, specifically takeout. (There’s also a prix-fixe family-style meal for those who want to eat in the restaurant.) But the pierogis are still the same, and there are eight varieties to choose from, both sweet and savory, plus two vegan options.

4. Smak-Tak

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5961 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-1123
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A local favorite among fans of Polish food, Smak-Tak executes its simple dishes at a consistently high level in a cozy atmosphere. You won’t be disappointed by the pierogi, which are available in cheese and potato, sauerkraut and mushroom, cheese, meat, blueberry, plum, cherry, and strawberry.

5. Alexandra Foods

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3304 N Central Ave
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 283-5440
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Found at several local stores, Alexandra’s pierogi are the preferred freezer-section pierogi of Polish grandmas. But there’s no need to go on an epic quest throughout the city: the factory store in Irving Park sells all 16 varieties, all packaged and ready to go.

6. Staropolska Restaurant

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3030 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 342-0779
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The hearty portions and hunting-lodge décor at Staropolska can make visitors feel as if they’re dining on the set of Game of Thrones. The tasty pierogi here are available by the platter with a choice of seven different fillings.

7. Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

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2700 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 661-9577
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The menu is always changing at Heritage — the Humboldt Park restaurant that embraces Chicago’s immigrant stories whether they be made of caviar dreams or Korean mandu. With that in mind, chef Guy Mielke’s latest menu features an item “Study of Vegetables” that stars a baked potato pierogi surrounded by fermented eggplant, charcoal-roasted zucchini, and Brussels sprouts. Look for other pierogis as specials.

8. Kasia's Polish Delicatessen

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2101 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 486-6163
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Many Chicagoans probably got their first taste of Kasia’s pierogi at the Taste of Chicago, but they’re now available year-round at local grocery stores and the Chicago Avenue deli, both carryout and frozen. Try the potato, cheddar, and jalapeno for bit of a kick.

9. Podhalanka

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1549 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 486-6655
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For many Polish Chicagoans, there isn’t a more comforting Polish restaurant to dine at than Podhalanka. Everything here is so retro, it feels as though it’s still 1952, when Nelson Algren still roamed Division Street and, who knows, maybe stopped here for a platter of pierogi at the bar.

10. Mission Control Arcade Bar

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1408 W Morse Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

An arcade bar might not be the most logical place to find a great pierogi, but when did the search for good food ever follow logic? Mission Control happens to be the home of the Bare Naked Pole, which pops up four nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Pierogis come in traditional flavors like potato, but also experimental ones like lemon berry and reuben. Keep an eye on the Bare Naked Pole’s Instagram for other pop-up locations.

11. Kimski

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954-960 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 823-7336
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Over in Bridgeport, diners will find unorthodox pierogi at Kimski, a Korean-Polish restaurant attached to Maria’s Community Bar. The cuisine represents the heritage of the owners — the Marszewski family. Chef Won Kim has developed “potskis” — a fusion of Asian pot stickers and pierogis. On any given day the fillings will change, but the idea is taking a won ton wrapper and stuffing it was a Polish filling (such sauerkraut and mushroom). On occasion, that will flip for a pierogi exterior with a Korean filling such as bulgogi.

12. Polombia

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Time Out Market, 916 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(832) 202-4574
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Polombia is a Polish-Colombian fusion restaurant from a couple at Time Out Chicago Market. Their take on the item, called an “emaparogi” is stuffed with potatoes and caramelized onions, sofrito, and chives. The non-vegetarian version comes with short rib, and both get served with an aji crema.

13. Flo & Santos

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1310 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 566-9817
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Strip pierogi of its more sentimental associations (babcia! the old neighborhood!) and what you get is a classic bar snack, designed to absorb alcohol. At Flo & Santos in South Loop, pierogi takes its rightful place beside wings, rings, fries, and pizza — but its also transformed, via tomato bacon vodka sauce, into ravirogi. Oh, America!

1. Qulinarnia

1730 W Golf Rd, Mt Prospect, IL 60056

At Qulinarnia in northwest suburban Mount Prospect, chef Agnieszka Janowska uses modern cooking techniques to update Polish classics. And so there are traditional cheese and potato pierogi here, but also lobster and spinach, served with a side of cherry tomatoes. Keep an eye on the menu for seasonal and holiday specials, like sauerkraut and porcini for Christmas and sweet blueberry in the summer. Frozen pierogi are also available for takeout.

1730 W Golf Rd
Mt Prospect, IL 60056

2. Polish Paczki Cafe

7210 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60656

Hidden inside a strip mall — where the former Oven Fresh Bakery stood for decades — the ownership of Old Warsaw (a venerable Polish buffet restaurant) have downsized. This quaint cafe makes its own pierogi filled with sauerkraut, potato/cheese, meat, and mushroom.

7210 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60656

3. Red Apple

6474 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60631

Red Apple was known for its buffet, which is still open on weekends, but, like everyone else, it has made adjustments for the pandemic era, specifically takeout. (There’s also a prix-fixe family-style meal for those who want to eat in the restaurant.) But the pierogis are still the same, and there are eight varieties to choose from, both sweet and savory, plus two vegan options.

6474 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60631

4. Smak-Tak

5961 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60646

A local favorite among fans of Polish food, Smak-Tak executes its simple dishes at a consistently high level in a cozy atmosphere. You won’t be disappointed by the pierogi, which are available in cheese and potato, sauerkraut and mushroom, cheese, meat, blueberry, plum, cherry, and strawberry.

5961 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60646

5. Alexandra Foods

3304 N Central Ave, Chicago, IL 60634

Found at several local stores, Alexandra’s pierogi are the preferred freezer-section pierogi of Polish grandmas. But there’s no need to go on an epic quest throughout the city: the factory store in Irving Park sells all 16 varieties, all packaged and ready to go.

3304 N Central Ave
Chicago, IL 60634

6. Staropolska Restaurant

3030 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

The hearty portions and hunting-lodge décor at Staropolska can make visitors feel as if they’re dining on the set of Game of Thrones. The tasty pierogi here are available by the platter with a choice of seven different fillings.

3030 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

7. Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

2700 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

The menu is always changing at Heritage — the Humboldt Park restaurant that embraces Chicago’s immigrant stories whether they be made of caviar dreams or Korean mandu. With that in mind, chef Guy Mielke’s latest menu features an item “Study of Vegetables” that stars a baked potato pierogi surrounded by fermented eggplant, charcoal-roasted zucchini, and Brussels sprouts. Look for other pierogis as specials.

2700 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Kasia's Polish Delicatessen

2101 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Many Chicagoans probably got their first taste of Kasia’s pierogi at the Taste of Chicago, but they’re now available year-round at local grocery stores and the Chicago Avenue deli, both carryout and frozen. Try the potato, cheddar, and jalapeno for bit of a kick.

2101 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

9. Podhalanka

1549 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60642

For many Polish Chicagoans, there isn’t a more comforting Polish restaurant to dine at than Podhalanka. Everything here is so retro, it feels as though it’s still 1952, when Nelson Algren still roamed Division Street and, who knows, maybe stopped here for a platter of pierogi at the bar.

1549 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60642

10. Mission Control Arcade Bar

1408 W Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

An arcade bar might not be the most logical place to find a great pierogi, but when did the search for good food ever follow logic? Mission Control happens to be the home of the Bare Naked Pole, which pops up four nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Pierogis come in traditional flavors like potato, but also experimental ones like lemon berry and reuben. Keep an eye on the Bare Naked Pole’s Instagram for other pop-up locations.

1408 W Morse Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

11. Kimski

954-960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608

Over in Bridgeport, diners will find unorthodox pierogi at Kimski, a Korean-Polish restaurant attached to Maria’s Community Bar. The cuisine represents the heritage of the owners — the Marszewski family. Chef Won Kim has developed “potskis” — a fusion of Asian pot stickers and pierogis. On any given day the fillings will change, but the idea is taking a won ton wrapper and stuffing it was a Polish filling (such sauerkraut and mushroom). On occasion, that will flip for a pierogi exterior with a Korean filling such as bulgogi.

954-960 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608

12. Polombia

Time Out Market, 916 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

Polombia is a Polish-Colombian fusion restaurant from a couple at Time Out Chicago Market. Their take on the item, called an “emaparogi” is stuffed with potatoes and caramelized onions, sofrito, and chives. The non-vegetarian version comes with short rib, and both get served with an aji crema.

Time Out Market, 916 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

13. Flo & Santos

1310 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Strip pierogi of its more sentimental associations (babcia! the old neighborhood!) and what you get is a classic bar snack, designed to absorb alcohol. At Flo & Santos in South Loop, pierogi takes its rightful place beside wings, rings, fries, and pizza — but its also transformed, via tomato bacon vodka sauce, into ravirogi. Oh, America!

1310 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

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